Gramm-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed Sunday afternoon outside his clothing store in South Los Angeles in a hail of gunfire that also left two others wounded.
An unnamed source told TMZ the rapper had been standing outside Marathon Clothing around 3:20 p.m. when a black male in his 20s approached the rapper and fired multiple shots before fleeing the scene in a getaway car reportedly being driven by a female.
Hussle was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at the age of 33. He leaves behind two children, a son with girlfriend Lauren London and a daughter from a previous relationship, according to The Los Angeles Times.
While few details have been released about the fatal shooting, one law enforcement source close to the investigation told the LA Times the shooter was likely associated with a gang. Investigators were still searching for the suspect Sunday night.
Los Angeles Police Lt. Chris Ramirez said in a news briefing that investigators are still working to track down witness accounts and surveillance footage as they piece together what happened.
“At this point, we’re not even sure as to whether he walked up, rode a bicycle or drove up in a car,” he said.
The shooting marks the tragic end of the rising hip hop artist, who was nominated for a Grammy for best rap album after his debut album “Victory Lap” was released in 2018.
Hussle, who was born Ermias Asghedom, was also known for his extensive efforts to give back to community, once buying a pair of shoes for every student at an elementary school in Hyde Park.
He also ran several businesses, including a burger restaurant, fish market and barbershop, to try to revitalize the South Los Angeles community where he had grown up.
“The man was instrumental in a lot of stuff,” community activist Malik Spellman told The Times. “Fighting gentrification, trying to stop gang violence.”
Friend Anita Hardine told the local paper Hussle “poured positivity in the streets,” noting he often served as a role model for many kids in the community.
In an effort to give kids a safe place to hang out, Hussle helped bring back the once popular roller skating rink World on Wheels.
“In L.A., you have to grow up fast, and this was one place kids could go to have a party and be safe,” he told The Times in 2017 when the business reopened.
After news of the rapper’s death began to spread, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called the death an “awful tragedy” in a statement on Twitter.
“Our hearts are with the loved ones of Nipsey Hussle and everyone touched by this awful tragedy,” he wrote. “L.A. is hurt deeply each time a young life is lost to senseless gun violence.”
Celebrities also took to social media to honor the influential singer.
“This doesn’t make any sense! My spirit is shaken by this,” Rihanna wrote.
John Legend wrote that he had just been filming a video with Hussle on Thursday.
“He was so gifted, so proud of his home, so invested in his community,” he wrote on Twitter. “Utterly stunned that he’s gone so soon.”
Police have not announced the names of the other victims wounded in Sunday’s shooting.
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